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Moorland Slates

A Client
Petrographic Report OPxxxx(a) xx/xx/xxxx

Petrolab Limited

www.petrolab.co.uk
tel +44 (0)1209 219541 email petrolab@petrolab.co.uk

C Edwards Offices, Gweal Pawl, Redruth, Cornwall TR15 3AE
Registered in England & Wales · Company No. 4777735

Petrographic Report

A Client

Contents
Sample details............................................................................................1
Methods of investigation.............................................................................1
Petrographic description.............................................................................2
Summary.....................................................................................................3
Images........................................................................................................3

Moorland Slates
OPxxxx(a) xx/xx/xxxx

Issued by Petrolab Ltd
i

Petrographic Report

A Client

Report identification
Client

A Client

Report title

Moorland Slates

Analysis required

Detailed petrographic report by optical microscopy.

Client order ref.

xxxxxx

Client contact

A Contact

Report ID (issue
date)

OPxxxx(a) xx/xx/xxxx

Issue note

Initial issue

Prepared by

J Strongman MSci ARSM

Checked by

J Fletcher BSc MSc

Limitations
This report relates only to those samples submitted and specimens examined and to any materials properly
represented by those samples and specimens. This report is issued to the Client named above for the
benefit of the Client for the purposes for which it was prepared. It does not confer or purport to confer on
any third party any benefit or right pursuant to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.

Moorland Slates
OPxxxx(a) xx/xx/xxxx

Issued by Petrolab Ltd
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Petrographic Report

A Client

Sample details
Two samples of unused/ unweathered roofing slate (Moorland standard & Moorland reject),
of dimensions 500 mm x 250 mm x 6mm (nominal thickness), were provided. Both samples
are reported to be from the same source; one is reported to be a standard slate and the
other is reported to be a reject due to high pyrite content.
Table 1 · Samples received
Sample ref.

Type

Mass

Condition

Moorland standard

roofing

2194

unused

Moorland reject

roofing

2056

unused

The investigation requested was a detailed petrographic description of both samples and
determination of sulphide content of the Moorland reject slate.

Methods of investigation
Preliminary investigation

Both samples were examined, as received, and after careful washing to remove
loose debris, using a Nikon SMZ-U stereomicroscope. The microscope has a
continuous zoom range of 7.5x to 75x and it is equipped with a 150W continuous
ring, fibre optic illuminator. It is useful for the preliminary examination of samples and
it is possible to discriminate and sometimes identify features as small as 100 µm in
size. The microscope has a trinocular head and can be used for low power
photomicrography.
Sample preparation

Two standard 50 mm x 25 mm polished thin sections were prepared from each
sample. One section was cut perpendicular to cleavage and the other one parallel to
the relict bedding.

The sections were examined by conventional transmitted and reflected light
polarising microscopy using a Nikon Labophot 2A research polarising microscope.
Digital photomicrographs were taken using a Nikon DXM1200F 12 megapixel
camera fitted to the trinocular head of the microscope

The abundance of sulphide minerals in the reject slate was calculated from chemical
assay of the total and acid soluble sulphur in the slate.

Moorland Slates
OPxxxx(a) xx/xx/xxxx

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Petrographic Report

A Client

Petrographic description
Hand specimens
Both slates are unweathered/ unused slates. The slate is a uniform medium-greenish grey
colour. They show evidence of lithological banding intersecting the cleavage surfaces,
individual bands are approximately 1 mm thick. Isolated, unweathered pyrite crystals (FeS 2)
are disseminated through both the slates and are visible with the stereomicroscope. They
are extremely fine, typically < 100 µm.
The reject slate also contains discontinuous bands (< 10 cm) of coarse pyrite, these bands
follow relict bedding planes in the slate. Individual pyrite crystals are approximately 300
µm.
Chemical analyses of the total sulphide and acid soluble sulphur content of the reject slate
gives an equivalent pyrite content of 0.15wt% pyrite.
In both samples sulphide content is composed almost entirely of pyrite with only traces of
chalcopyrite and pyrrhotite. There is no evidence of the more reactive iron sulphide
marcasite.
Petrography

Texture and fabric,
weathering & alteration

Phase, abbreviation
Sericite

The slate is made up principally from sericite mica and pale green chlorite with a very
strong preferred orientation that defines the cleavage. The slate also contains minor
quartz and iron oxides, and traces of calcite and sulphides (pyrite, chalcopyrite,
pyrrhotite). The chlorite porphyroblasts and lenses of quartz and calcite give the
appearance of a coarser grained textured slate. The sections show no weathering or
discolouration.

Abundance²
Major+

Description
Chlorite

Quartz

< 2.5 µm

40 µm

10 µm

Platy crystals of sericite mica with a strong preferred orientation defining cleavage,
interbedded with chlorite.
Minor

Description

Grain size ( min | max | typical )

< 2.5 µm

200 µm

20 µm

Platy crystals with a strong orientation defining cleavage, interbedded with sericite
micas. Also occurs as larger porphyroblasts orientated at high angles to the foliation.
Minor

10 µm

150 µm

50 µm

Anhedral crystals clustered in layers defining original bedding at ~30 to cleavage.
Also present with calcite in lenses orientated parallel to cleavage, these have
maximum length of circa 500 µm and are up to 100 µm in thickness. Around coarse
euhedral pyrites in reject sample also develops in pressure fringes parallel to
cleavage.
o

Description

Haematite/Limonite
Description
Calcite

Minor

Pyrite ± Pyrrhotite

Moorland Slates
OPxxxx(a) xx/xx/xxxx

50 µm

20 µm

Platy crystals, generally orientated parallel with cleavage. A small population in
chlorite porphyroblasts are orientated at a high angle to foliation.
Trace

Description

< 2.5 µm

5 µm

80 µm

20 µm

Subhedral crystals clustered with quartz in lenses orientated parallel to cleavage.
Trace

< 5 µm

300 µm

70 µm

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Petrographic Report

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In both samples found as disseminated subhedral grains and clusters of grains (sub
parallel with cleavage) they have an average grain size of <10 µm (grains range from
<5 µm – 100 µm).

Description

Chalcopyrite
Description

Also found as coarse euhedral pyrites in the reject slate where they appear to follow
relict bedding and probably represent lenses of pyrite. These bands are > 6 mm thick
i.e. at least the thickness of the slate and the pyrite is coarse and equigranular, circa
300 µm.
Trace

< 5 µm

100 µm

10 µm

In both samples found as rare disseminated subhedral grains and clusters of grains
(sub parallel with cleavage).

Summary
1. Both samples are from a uniform medium-greenish grey, high quality, hard slate.
The slate is composed of compact layers of chlorite and sericite. These layers
create a strong foliation and define the cleavage.
2. Relict bedding is defined by coarser bands of quartz ± calcite (and in the reject slate
coarse pyrite) at intervals of approximately 1 mm. Bedding intersects the cleavage at
approximately 30o.
3. Pyrite is the most common sulphide, there are also traces of chalcopyrite and
pyrrhotite. There is no evidence of the more unstable iron sulphide marcasite. The
overall sulphide content of both samples is extremely low; even in the reject slate the
sulphide content is <0.15%.
4. There are two populations of sulphide in the slate:
i. Fine disseminated pyrite ± chalcopyrite occurring as subhedral single grains and
clusters, individual grains have an average grain size of < 10 µm. This occurrence of
sulphide is not likely to cause any deterioration of the slate.
ii. The second coarser population of pyrite found in the reject slate follows relict
bedding and occurs as lenses of euhedral crystals (individual crystals of
approximately 300 µm). Lenses are at least 6 mm thick, i.e. the thickness of the
slate and may cause the slate to fail if these sulphides were to oxidise.

Images
Colour images (scanned images and annotated photomicrographs of each sample) begin
over-page.

Moorland Slates
OPxxxx(a) xx/xx/xxxx

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Petrographic Report

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Samples received
A

Samples received

Photograph of samples as received
(scale in cm). Standard slate on left,
reject on right. Location of thin sections
is marked.
Image A
Fuji S3 Pro digital camera
Daylight balanced oblique light

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Petrographic Report

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Photomicrographs
B

Standard

Chlorite (chl) porphyroblasts and mica
layers in slate
Image B
Nikon Labophot petrological
microscope
Plane polarised transmitted light
x100

chl

250 µm
C

Standard

Relict bedding defined by quartz (qtz)
rich bands
Image C
Nikon Labophot petrological
microscope
Cross polarised transmitted light
x25

qtz

1 mm

Moorland Slates
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Petrographic Report

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D

Standard

Clusters and individual grains of fine
disseminated pyrite
Image D
Nikon Labophot petrological
microscope
Plane polarised reflected light
x200

py

100 µm
E

Reject

Well developed cleavage plus chlorite
porphyroblasts and mica layers

chl

Image E
Nikon Labophot petrological
microscope
Plane polarised transmitted light
x100

250 µm

Moorland Slates
OPxxxx(a) xx/xx/xxxx

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Petrographic Report

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F

Reject

Pyrite lens cutting through slate
Image F
Nikon Labophot petrological
microscope
Plane polarised reflected light
x25

py

1 mm

G

Reject

Euhedral coarse pyrite showing quartz
pressure fringes

py
qtz

Image G
Nikon Labophot petrological
microscope
Cross polarised transmitted light
x40

500 µm

Moorland Slates
OPxxxx(a) xx/xx/xxxx

Issued by Petrolab Ltd
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